It seems that gardening has experienced a revival during lockdowns with people puttering in their gardens to stay active and busy. And in this spirit, we share a few pointers on how to grow your own strawberries at home.
It is a very good idea to grow your strawberries in containers or raised bed to make it difficult for snails and centipedes to reach them. Birds, however, will find your strawberries wherever you plant them, and it is therefore wise to also invest in some bird wire.
Beautiful classic terracotta pots are always a winner, however, almost any container would suffice – from simple pots to window boxes and hanging baskets. An old keg or wine barrel is also perfect and creates a lovely rustic feature to your garden or veranda.
You can grow your strawberries from seeds or runners from existing plants and usually needs to be planted in autumn for a crop the following year. Five to six hours of full sunlight is a must, and the ground needs to be a bit acidic: two parts soil, one part compost, one part well-rotted manure is the best mixture. You can also add a little bonemeal or slow-release organic fertilizer. Your plants must be about 30 cm apart if planting in beds, and you should remove runners to promote fruiting. Also remove the first flowers as allowing them to develop into fruits will reduce the plant growth. In autumn and again in early spring, you should top-dress your established plants with rich compost or an organic fertilizer. Allow your plants to rest in midsummer for best results.
Plants that have been well cared for, can bear fruit for up to 3 years. After that they become susceptible to viruses, and it is best to then start off with new stock plants or seeds in fresh soil.